Toddler Behavior, how can I keep the peace?

(April 14, 2010)

As toddlers develop the freedom to move on their own, they feel the urge to explore everything in sight. This is an absolutely normal part of growing up, essential for learning through pure sensation. At this stage, for every parent it seems like their child has suddenly gone from being an angel to the naughtiest known toddler. Speech development brings the need to constantly communicate with all those around them. Along with these developments comes the need to test the limits. This is seen in the form of tantrums and aggression. This is when the need for disciplining and behavior modification strategies takes centre stage.

Children are not all-knowing and they cannot differentiate right from wrong. These are things that they learn by observing and imitating adults. Hence, the first step in disciplining your toddler is to be a good role model. In addition, it is essential to constantly remind your child of the difference between right and wrong as a child often forgets what is spoken. This can be done through the use of stories with morals. Children normally associate themselves with the characters in the story and hence, story time can be one of the most fruitful periods for conveying the difference between accepted and unaccepted behavior. This also helps in strengthening the bond between parent and child, thus making it easier to get through to your toddler. The consequences of certain behavior should also be explained from time to time and following through on disciplining methods is essential. In addition, all the members of the family should be consistent in disciplining a toddler.

Toddler's aggressive behavior usually sets in due to frustration or possessiveness. Toddlers cannot communicate effectively as they are still learning to speak. This causes a lot of frustration for toddlers when parents or other adults are not able to understand them. Similarly, toddlers want to have their own way and here ascertaining your position plays a vital role. In addition, a toddler begins to understand the importance of parents and becomes very possessive about them. This leads to further tantrums and aggressive behavior especially when it comes to sharing parents with siblings or being away from their parents. Spending quality time with your toddler will help in minimizing the need to maintain peace. The use of positive reinforcement is recommended. Minor rewards like public praise, a pat on the back or the use of behavior modification charts also go a long way in modifying toddler behavior.       

Submitted by P T on April 14, 2010 at 11:55

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